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4 Reasons Search Marketers Are Excited About YouTube Advertising

2018 has been one hell of a year for us digital marketers already, hasn’t it? New features rolling out, a new UI driving all of us crazy, and GDPR having us:

a) Trying to figure out what the hell it is

b) Fielding questions from our clients and Zuckerberg who made us explain to our older relatives that Facebook isn’t “selling your data” and “no, NSA is not spying on you.”

2018 has been a pretty pivotal year for me as a digital marketer. I’ve been working in this industry for over 7 years and always understood the importance of upper-funnel tactics. But it wasn’t until this year that I went “all-in” on the upper funnel. Maybe it’s because of the beautiful audience targeting tactics that are now available on the GDN, maybe it’s because I’m maturing as a digital marketer, or maybe it’s because I’ve finally taken my “search marketer” hat off and put my “marketer” hat on – but something finally clicked.

Not unlike Google, I’ve been investing a lot of time in upper-funnel tactics, particularly YouTube. I’ve spent the better half of this year learning about YouTube, testing targeting tactics and ad types, building YouTube strategies, and even hosting a #ppcchat about YouTube. Through all of my knowledge gathering, I’ve found a couple of features/updates I’m most excited about, so I wanted to share my learnings.

YouTube TV advertising

I work very closely with our programmatic team at Point It and have heard them talking about buying Connected TV inventory on Hulu for some time now. I’ve been jealous at how cool that is, and guess what, IT’S OUR TURN! I could truly not be more excited about this.

YouTube TV is everywhere! YouTube TV is the jersey sponsor for LAFC, it is the first ever presenting sponsor for the NBA Finals and it’s available to over 85 percent of US households in nearly 100 TV markets.

Advertisers will be able to select the device type they want to target with their creative, allowing “TV” to be an option. Additionally, there will be a new segment named “light TV viewers” that reaches folks who consume their video online and might be harder to target using traditional media buys.

Custom Intent Audiences

I talked about utilizing Custom Intent Audiences in your GDN campaigns. Now, you can utilize these audiences in your YouTube advertising efforts. This tactic is incredibly valuable, because when users are on YouTube, they intentionally focus on what they’re watching, instead of browsing the web and by chance seeing a display banner on the sidebar of a site.

For example, an airline could reach people on YouTube who recently searched on Google for “flights to Hawaii.” (This example was used during the announcement at SMX West earlier this year).

So, you can now target by intent in display -- and use video, an incredibly powerful medium. As Bryant Garvin so simply put it during my YouTube #ppcchat, “Search captures people; video moves people.”

#ppcchat bryant garvin

YouTube Reach Planner

Whenever you’re pitching a new campaign type or other expansion ideas to a client or stakeholder, one of the first questions that follow your pitch is: “What do I get out of this?” For years, we’ve used the keyword planner and display planner, both invaluable assets to help us come up with ballpark reach numbers, even if, sometimes, we have to take it with a grain of salt. Now, finally, YouTube stepped in with the new Reach Planner tool.

This tool is still in beta, so you have to ask your Google rep for access to it, but this is going to be huge when building out proposals, media plans, and other pitch decks for new or existing clients. Marketing Land provides some details on the capabilities:

“Currently in beta, Reach Planner in AdWords is designed to help media planners and advertisers forecast the reach and frequency of video campaigns on YouTube and the video partners on the Google Display Network.

Reach Planner provides unique reach data for all devices, core audiences and video formats for more than 50 countries. The tool also includes product mix recommendations intended to show which YouTube ad formats will work best together based on inputs of a marketing objective, budget and ad preferences or assets available.”

Brand safety is top of mind

If you’re at all active in the YouTube community, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of YouTubers talking about how upset they are that YouTube is demonetizing many of their videos. While I definitely want to encourage creators to create content that is engaging and thought-provoking, take one wrong turn down the tunnel of YouTube videos, and you can end up in a very unsettling place.

Last year, many advertisers pulled their investment from YouTube, because they wanted to avoid being associated with controversial videos that were showing ads on them. To address brand safety, YouTube implemented a series of requirements:

  • All videos eligible to be monetized must have a minimum of:
    • Be on a channel with 1,000 subscribers or more
    • Be on a channel that has 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months
  • The team that vets Google Preferred channels will be increased to 10,000 people across the organization
  • Google will be releasing a new system that will allow advertisers to have better control over what video content their ads are showing on.

Among the many new features that Google has announced in YouTube recently, I picked these four, as these releases really made my upper-funnel mentality kick in. These changes have given me hope in YouTube advertising and got me excited about trying, testing, and pitching it to clients.

AdStage Team